The Creation Care Ministry has created a Story Sharing Project to allow parishioners to share actions they are taking related to Creation Care, as a way for parishioners to share their good work and to encourage others to help reduce climate change. Stories can be about any action you are taking, large or small, to care for creation and mitigate climate change. Stories can take the form of a brief written essay, a video, a photo album, an infographic, or a piece of podcast-style audio. Sharing these stories can help others to learn, lead to new ideas about what to do, and be an inspiration for others to take action too. See guidelines to submit your own story here, or share a response or idea by simply using the "reply" box below!
Loving the Earth with Every Bite
I flirted with becoming a vegan for years. Off and on, I always found an excuse to dive into that steak or gnaw on fried chicken bones. An article titled "Being a Vegan is Cheaper than Buying a Tesla," in a book by Gene Stone and Kathy Freston called 72 Reasons to be a Vegan, struck me right between the eyes. It went on to say, "If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, forget your garage and take a hard look at your kitchen." I did, and it was a culinary and spiritual revelation. I immediately became a vegan after reading the article last year. Nowadays, I touch a rose petal and feel connected to its delicate skin. My skin and the rose's skin are not so different. I feel transparent, with more room for the Holy Spirit to roam within me. I am so happy that I no longer eat animals, and since I can't afford an electric vehicle, I am proud to use my diet to contribute to the health of our beautiful Mother Earth.
Saving Water, Even in Seattle
Do we really need to save water in wet Seattle? My parents were born and raised on homesteads 100 years ago in dry southern Saskatchewan. The idea of preserving precious water was a rule for me when I was growing up and was never in question, even in the wet Willamette Valley of Oregon. Recently, though, I have been looking more closely at my practices around water use in the kitchen. I’ve started catching the water when I rinse vegetables, and I’ve been keeping water from cooking vegetables and pasta. The first time I did this, I captured over 3 gallons of water during just one dinner preparation! After it cools, I use the water on inside and outside potted plants.
Shopping online has long been my favorite way to buy anything I need, as going into stores is one of my least preferred activities. I ramped it up even more during the pandemic, adding groceries to everything else. Buying Christmas presents always meant buying brand new things for family members. Last year, though, our daughter asked me to shop for second-hand items on Amazon Renewed for her gifts. I asked my wife and son if second-hand was okay for them too. They said yes, and everyone got pre-loved gifts. I interviewed an executive at second-hand clothing retailer Vestiaire Collective, which I had not heard about before, and then found items on that site too. While I don’t always shop for pre-loved items, I do so a lot more than before and am saving plenty of items from going to landfill. Great quality, lower cost, caring for creation—what more can I want?